Naira Appreciates To N1,382/$ After $7bn FX Settlement


As controversy trails foreign airlines’ funds, the local currency continued on a recovery note yesterday with naira appreciating significantly against the dollar on the strength.

The local currency continued on a recovery note yesterday with naira appreciating significantly against the dollar on the strength of recent interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Daily Trust can report.

From N1,536.83 in the previous day, the naira appreciated to N1,382.35/$ at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), the first time in a long while that the local currency would record such a massive gain.

This was coming 24 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced it had cleared $7bn valid foreign exchange claims while increasing the country’s forex reserves.

CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi-Ali, announced this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement partly reads, “The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that all valid foreign exchange backlogs have now been settled, fulfilling a key pledge of the CBN Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, to process an inherited backlog of $7bn in claims.

“Clearance of the foreign exchange transactions backlog is part of the overall strategy detailed in last month’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting to stabilise the exchange rate and thereby curb imported inflation, spurring confidence in the banking system and the economy.

Naira rebounds
Apart from the massive gain recorded at the official market, the local currency also stabilised yesterday at the parallel market exchanging at N1,500 to a dollar, according to checks by our correspondents in Lagos, Abuja and Kano.

In Lagos, the dollar was traded at N1,500 to N1,520 yesterday with the operators confirming relative stability in the market.

A BDC operator, Haruna Agege, in a chat with our correspondent yesterday said the local currency is expected to appreciate against the dollars in days to come.

“So if you have dollars at home, it is advisable to bring it out,” he said.

In Abuja, a cross section of Bureau de Change operators in Wuse who spoke to Daily Trust stated that the dollar has been falling against the Naira since the beginning of the week.

Gidado Muktar, a BDC operator said, “We have been seeing a lot of changes since Monday when the week started. I can tell you that when we started the week, the dollar was N1,700 to a dollar. By Tuesday it dropped to N1,600 and as we speak today Thursday it is fluctuating between N1,480 to N1,500/$,” he said.

Mukhtar added that he is happy that the Naira is appreciating which vindicates his colleagues that were accused of speculation.

In Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Kura, a BDC operator said operators buy dollar at the rate of N1490 and sell to prospective customers at the rate N1500 . Previously it traded at N1,520, he said.

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